Re: the meme war

From: Miriam English (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 07:14:59 MDT

Wow, Russell. This is some of the best sense I have seen.

Very well thought out. Especially the point about extended lifespan vs
immortality. I am continually astonished that almost nobody I know
personally wants to live forever... but none of them have any problems with
adding several years of good health.

Best wishes,

         - Miriam

At 05:00 PM 19/07/2001 +1000, Russell Blackford wrote:
>Spike said
>>In any struggle for the hearts and minds of the proletariat...
>Meanwhile, some thoughts. At the moment, transhumanism isn't even on the
>radar for most people. Same even with nano, cryonics, etc. Thus lots of
>clever phrases would just seem obscure at this point in the meme war.
>Then there are ideas that I think really need to be bracketed off in
>public debate. I don't see why we should be committed to any
>closely-defined particular political viewpoint, for example, even if we
>are all attracted to positions that are libertarian in one of the many
>senses of that word (and which I'm sure we'll keep discussing). The
>extropian principles allow for a range of "open societies" and most people
>are frightened by libertarian views, however defensible those views may
>seem to any of us.
>However, there's a lot of point, I think, to getting behind campaigns for
>basic political rights such as freedom of speech, religion and conscience,
>and adopting the associated slogans. Over the next couple of decades, the
>luddites are going to try to suppress technologies and try to drive out
>views that they consider "metaphysically damaging" (yes, that is the
>expression I keep seeing). In doing so, they will reject the classical
>liberal ideal of society. The classical liberal ideal has no room for the
>imposition of metaphysical beliefs and is our great strength. If we
>continue to live in a society where the classical liberal ideal is, er,
>respected, I think the necessary technologies will be developed and
>marketed by people with the interest and talent, and will be taken up
>widely as their advantages are seen by ordinary people.
>Beyond that, since we have to take it one step at a time, I tend to think
>that the initial focus of our more positive meme deployment should be on
>the idea that extended life is a good idea. That is hard for lots of
>people to swallow ideologically (extended longevity - it's, it's
><splutter> *unnatural*), but it also has an obvious attraction. Almost
>everyone wants to live longer.
>Once we make some headway getting this idea out as a legitimate one, a lot
>of other stuff follows.
>I like Reason's focus on the longevity meme. I also like Zero's slogan:
>"Life is good. Refuse to die." If we could come up with a few more like
>this it'd be great.
>If Eliezer's work is successful, I guess the meme war is almost
>irrelevant. But I don't want to put all my eggs in the one singularity.
>Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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